Is Christian theology strong enough to help women fight back the pressures of objectification?
I believe it is. I believe that if we look into the Christian story, we will find a narrative that describes all the ways that God has said, “Yes!” to human bodies. And if God is saying, “yes”, then who am I to say, “no”?
As we explore this topic, I will touch on the following areas:
- Creation: God gave human beings bodies, and said that they are good
- Incarnation: God loved human bodies so much that He took one for Himself
- Resurrection: The body of Jesus didn’t stay dead, and He didn’t come back as a ghost
- Ascension: The body of Jesus is ALIVE and IN HEAVEN right now
- General Resurrection: All our bodies are going to be raised up to new life
I think that if we can come to believe that all these things are true, then we will be able to fight back against the forces that want to treat us as objects. We will find worth for ourselves that transcends our bodies but doesn’t leave those bodies behind, either.
Feminism has rightly accused Christianity of treating bodies in general, and women’s bodies in particular, as if they were bad. I hope to defend Christianity against that charge, even as I admit that some Christian thought has definitely contributed to the damage that women are suffering.
I hope instead to offer a Christian theology that tells the story of the goodness of the human body, the equality of women, and the amazing hope that all Jesus-followers have for an eternity of embodied awesomeness.
The God who created us wants us to be whole persons: body, mind, and soul. I believe that without reservation.
I also know that a lot of damage has been done to women in the way they relate to others, to themselves, and to God. Objectification is a cancer that is spreading through our culture, but I hope that if enough of us can learn to fight it, then it will someday be stopped.
Men, please don’t feel left out or accused. You are victims of this culture of objectification as well. You are increasingly becoming victims of objectification yourselves, and you have learned destructive ways of relating to women’s bodies and to your own bodies because of objectification. I know that not all men are complicit in objectification, either. Many of you are fighting for the rights of women to be treated as subjects, and that is very, very exciting. I hope that you, too, can learn something about how much God loves you, body and soul.